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New shops and Primark - the street where traders say things are on the up

Some of the businesses on Timberhill - from top left clockwise, Phil Cutter, landlord at the Murderers, Donnelli's Pizzeria, the team at Timberhill Bakery, Deb Dominic of Hairsmiths, Cata Parrish at Re.Source, Poppy Stevens, bookseller at Bookbugs and Dragon Tales and, centre, a pizza from Voodoo Daddy's Showroom. Photos: Simon Finlay, Steve Adams, Sonya Duncan, James Randle, Donnelli's Pizzeria, Neil Didsbury and Antony Kelly.

Some of the businesses on Timberhill - from top left clockwise, Phil Cutter, landlord at the Murderers, Donnelli's Pizzeria, the team at Timberhill Bakery, Deb Dominic of Hairsmiths, Cata Parrish at Re.Source, Poppy Stevens, bookseller at Bookbugs and Dragon Tales and, centre, a pizza from Voodoo Daddy's Showroom. Photos: Simon Finlay, Steve Adams, Sonya Duncan, James Randle, Donnelli's Pizzeria, Neil Didsbury and Antony Kelly.

Archant

A clutch of new independent businesses and the reopening of Primark’s revamped store have seen trade thrive in a city street.

Bookseller Poppy Stevens
 at Bookbugs and Dragon Tales. Byline: Sonya DuncanBookseller Poppy Stevens at Bookbugs and Dragon Tales. Byline: Sonya Duncan

Traders have, in the past, voiced concerns over how historic Timberhill can be overlooked in favour of other shopping areas in Norwich.

But many have enjoyed a buoyant few weeks - including The Murderers pub landlord Phil Cutter, who said the reopening of Primark in December drove footfall up the street and saw him enjoy his two best ever trading weeks over Christmas.

"We were really lucky it opened two weeks before Christmas," he said. "Christmas did help with trade but Primark certainly draws people up our historic, beautiful street."

His comments were echoed by Mike Sweetman at the Timberhill Bakery, who said the street had recently become busier.

Deb Dominic owner of Hairsmiths in Norwich. Photo: Simon FinlayDeb Dominic owner of Hairsmiths in Norwich. Photo: Simon Finlay

"There's definitely been an uplift in footfall," he said, adding that the bakery's business had remained fairly steady, with its specialist nature meaning people often sought them out. "There is more of a buzz though," he said, "and we have seen few new faces."

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At zero waste shop Re. Source, owner Cata Parrish said trade had increased steadily since they opened in April.

"What we have noticed," she said, "is when the bakery is open we get much more trade. Also having Bookbugs and Dragon Tales [nearby] and other new independent businesses having opened seems to make a difference. It's all a similar clientele. There's a lot of support."

Ballpark banger pizza at Voodoo Daddy's Showroom Credit: James RandleBallpark banger pizza at Voodoo Daddy's Showroom Credit: James Randle

In the last few months, independent bookshop Bookbugs and Dragon Tales has opened on Timberhill, along with hairdressers Hairsmiths. And what was formerly rum bar Bermuda Bob's has become sports bar and pizza spot Voodoo Daddy's Showroom, which the team said was doing well.

And at Donnelli's Pizzeria, Eric Donnelly said things were still tough for businesses, with the street still home to empty units.

But he said it was "fantastic" that a mix of long-standing names - including Middleton's and London Camera Exchange - and new faces were drawing people up the street.

At Bookbugs and Dragon Tales, Leanne Fridd said the support among businesses on the street was "beautiful".

The Murderers pub owner Phil Cutter Photo: Steve AdamsThe Murderers pub owner Phil Cutter Photo: Steve Adams

She said they had enjoyed a good Christmas, and the rebranding of the Timberhill Terrace had given them a "shot in the arm", with people encouraged to enter and exit Castle Quarter via a different way.

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